Mark Stoops happy to end losing skid using game plan centered around Lynn Bowden
Kentucky ended a 3-game losing streak with a 24-20 victory over Arkansas on Saturday behind a game plan largely centered around converted wide receiver Lynn Bowden at quarterback.
“We felt like we were going to have to start him for a week or two,” coach Mark Stoops said after the game, “but Sawyer (Smith) was getting better, he did practice this week. It was getting close. But we invested a lot in that game plan with Lynn.”
Bowden was 7-for-11 passing for 78 yards and a TD. He had 24 carries for 196 yards rushing with 2 scores. Bowden played in place of Smith, who improved health-wise, but suffered multiple injuries in recent games against Mississippi State and South Carolina.
“Proud of the team across the board, overcoming, doing the things necessary to win,” Stoops said. “So it’s a big step. … It’s always important, tell me what game we play that isn’t. So we always look at it that way. But there’s no doubt when you go on a losing skid that we haven’t been on in a while that that’s not a good feeling. Really proud of our team, because again I think something clicked, a switch went off and really gelled the past couple weeks and we’ve worked hard at that. It felt good tonight.”
Stoops said he figured he needed to “steal a possession” and that’s what led to his decision to go for it on fourth down.
“In hindsight, yeah, it was a dumb decision,” he said. “I felt like I was going to have to steal a possession or two tonight, but that I felt like that was as good as any. With calling the plays, it gets tough because we had to stay ahead of the chains all night. … Eddie Gran was really good in being firm with his game plan. He was confident, committed to it.”
Kentucky returns to action next week at Georgia.